by Guy Page
Vermonters are used to our skiers and snowboarders winning hearts, medals and lucrative endorsements in the Winter Olympics.
Summer Olympics? Not so much. But this year three Vermont woman athletes will compete for gold.
At the head of the Green Mountain trio is Elle Purrier St. Pierre, a world-class miler from Montgomery. Last month, the Richford High graduate and granddaughter of former Rep. Harold Bailey of Hyde Park set the U.S. Olympic trials record for the 1500 meter Run with a sub-four minute 3:58:03.
Purrier St. Pierre will make her Olympic debut August 1 at 8:35 pm ET in the first round of the 1500 meter run.
And whether or not she medals – a real possibility – Purrier St. Pierre hasn’t forgotten her Vermont dairy roots. Raised on a farm and now the wife of a dairy farmer, Elle announced yesterday she has partnered with Dairy Farmers of America as a spokesperson. “I’m partnering with @dfamilk (Dairy Farmers of America) to help spread the message, far and wide, that dairy is good for you and good for the planet!,” she said on her Facebook page. “DFA is the nation’s largest dairy cooperative owned by more than 12,500 family-farmers– including my husband’s family farm!”
Former Burlington High School and Quinnipiac College rugby star Ilona Maher won the Sorenson Award, given to the best college rugby player in the nation. She didn’t start playing rugby until her senior year at BHS, but made the Team USA roster last month. The 5′ 9″ Burlington native will turn 25 next month.
Unlike other some other athletes, Maher is not one bit apologetic about representing her country.
“I love wearing the Team USA shirt,” Maher said in an interview. And her mother says Maher loves singing the National Anthem: “Sometimes they pan to the athletes, and you can hear Ilona singing boisterously along with the National Anthem, so it makes you very proud.”
Brooke Mooney is a 6’2″ former skier who became dissatisfied with the sport. Her Craftsbury Outdoor Ski Center Coach recommending rowing – and Mooney went on to set rowing records at the University of Washington.
Categories: Society & Culture